Sean Dyche chooses the high road to Burnley’s axe

In an unexpected turn of events, Burnley FC recently sacked their long-serving manager Sean Dyche. Their presence in the relegation zone (18th position) after 31 games with 25 points (4 points behind 17th placed Everton) is the reason one can think of. Having served Burnley for 9 and a half years, Dyche garnered praise from one and all for the job he did. Hence, it surprised many when Burnley showed him the doors. Around 20 staff have left the club in the last 14 months since ALK took over the club in December 2020. So, the situation was already volatile at the club. Considering how the club tied his hands with the budget constraints, he did a commendable job keeping Burnley relevant. Everything is business these days, but this decision does not make sense even from a business standpoint.

Following the controversy, Dyche says he is grateful to the club and fans in his classy statement on Thursday.

The LMA released a statement on behalf of Sean Dyche. Image source: LMA

Sean Dyche took over the reins of Burnley FC on October 30, 2012. The Clarets were then placed 14th in the Championship table, conceding the most goals in the league then. His recruitment paid dividends when he helped the side promote to the Premier League in 2014. Although they revisited the Championship the following season, he helped them back to Premier League in 2016. Dyche has had Burnley stay afloat from then onwards till the time he got sacked. At the end of the 19/20 season, he was the longest-serving manager in the Premier League when Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth went back to the Championship.

It’s an open secret that Dyche had a limited budget to work with. Putting things into perspective, in the last 5 years, Burnley’s net spending is only € 25.24m (total expenses minus profit). In that same period, Everton (currently 17th) spent €243.62m, and Leeds (currently 16th) spent €150.33m. Only Watford FC (promoted this season, currently 19th) from the teams in the league this season have spent less than Burnley in that period with expenses of €19.17m. Considering this, Burnley being in the Premier League throughout that period makes this feat simply incredible.

Image source: Premier League

Many managers, pundits, and fans thought that the owners did Dyche dirty when the club gave him the marching orders. Gary Neville said that he had a bantamweight budget and yet punched hard against the heavyweights for years. He also added that he had done one of the most commendable managerial jobs in PL history. And Neville could not be more accurate. The managers of different clubs from Moyes (West Ham), Arteta (Arsenal), Hodgson (Watford), and Frank (Brentford) showed their disbelief at his situation and heaped praises for what he did with the club. This alone is enough to demonstrate his credentials as a manager.

Dyche is just 50, which is fairly young for a manager. So, we can expect him to be managing some side sooner than later. He did say in his statement that he is looking forward to the next phase in his life. As for Burnley, they got off to a winning start in the first match after his sacking. But we all know it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It will also be interesting to see how Burnley copes with his absence from here on.